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December 15, 2015. That’s the date on this draft post I was thinking about writing. It is the second of my 10 “draft” posts I have on my blog. I’m about to shift this blog over to WordPress and away from Blogger. I have 276 blog posts altogether. Most were written over a 4 year period when I was actively writing (2011 through 2015). Additional Note: This is written from the distant past when classes happened in a school builiding – do you remember those days? 

Here comes another Tweet about “A Live Webinar….about to happen! Join Us!” -or- “Join us Tuesday at 2 PM PST for the next …. ”  Who are they addressing this to and how are those people able to attend this event?

I get so frustrated and angry with these “incredible opportunities” to meet/talk/listen to incredible brains in the education world, when that “incredible opportunity” is during my school day. Even when I was an instructional coach and my hours were much more flexible, it was hard to make most  of these times.

I’m convinced that once teachers leave the classroom and become “experts” they forget that not everyone is able to hang out for an hour during a week day. When was the last time a teacher had an hour for lunch? And, should it occur during a conference period, how many teachers are willing and/or free to give up that time for something else besides grading papers/talking with parents/ or meeting with other teachers or administrators?

I’m not sure what else to do. I suggest via tweets that there should be a different time. I comment on this issue whenever I can. But, still, most of the great live stuff happens between the hours of 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST during week days.

People say, “there are always the taped and archived videos available to watch.” Sure, and if you wanted to interact with anyone about a statement or question, how would you do that?  With connectivity better than at any time in my 58 years, there has to be a way to make these events available for ALL teachers in the US. I realize that there are awesome things going on in Australasia and in Europe and the Middle East. I can’t expect those things to line up with my work day.

When I get up on a Wednesday morning and head off to school, I should be able to look forward to an event that is happening that day. To realize this it would have to happen sometime between 6 PM and 10 PM EST that night. If I have a personal conflict or a school event that is scheduled for the same time, then I won’t be able to make it.  But if I am free I’ll be able to be there – live.

Here are three possible solutions: (1) Have a webinar or GHO once a month that replaces a weekly Twitter chat. Why couldn’t we have a #PBLCHAT, for example, once a month where people could see each other and there could be presentations to watch and interact with? The Twitter stream could still be utilized for a back channel. (I understand that some chats, like #edchat, are probably too big to do this).  (2) have a monthly webinar or GHO at set times and days (such as the third Tuesday of each month) with a web page outlining the agenda, days or even weeks, in advance. (3) Have more “live” podcasts that are streamed. There are some good ones now. Let’s increase these.

There is a solution. And there are multiple ways to get it done. But to start we need those folks who insist on having mid-day live events to have a mind shift. Start thinking of the dozens (hundreds?) of educators who miss really great stuff because they are – gasp – in their classroom teaching!

2020 update – In our current state of online learning, educators have found ways to connect in new and different ways. Zoom is the most common tool being used. And, I am seeing so many more webinars and “conferences” being conducted this way. Maybe this will force us to understand the importance of being able to reach educators when they are actually available.

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